Tag Archives: Euan McColm

Our constitution, July 2012: Scottish Defence Forces

“Provision for Scottish Defence Forces under control of Scottish government”

Today in the Scotland on Sunday, Euan McColm takes up his keyboard and goes to battle for the Scottish military

One of the ways in which die-hard SNP members kid themselves that their party is still in the slightest bit radical is through their approach to defence. The Nationalists’ broad “nukes out, troops home” mantra may, from time to time, chime with a wider public mood. But it’s a stance adopted in the days when the notion that an SNP politician might ever have to seriously consider the defence of an independent Scotland was laughable.

One of the big things that will change for Scotland if we become independent: The UK is about 22nd in the world for population size. But Scotland, which is between five and six million people, will be somewhere between 110th and 118th for population size. Our neighbours on this list won’t be France and Italy any more; they’ll be countries the size of Nicaragua or Denmark or Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan or Slovakia or Finland, Singapore or Turkmenistan or Norway.

Everyone knows this – the SNP keep pointing at Norway and Denmark, European democracies the size of Scotland, to prove that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

But one change which this sizing down makes inevitable, which I think any realistic person will have to accept:

Countries the size Scotland will be don’t go to war for fun. Continue reading

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